07/18/2013 05:23 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2013

What I Have Gotten Out of Writing Besides Money

I know. Every case is unique. But in my case, becoming a writer in midlife has given me a new sense of meaning and purpose. I no longer sit and wonder why I'm here, I know!

At age 49, I lost my career as an academic librarian. One day it was simply gone. I spent a few months contemplating what's next and couldn't come up with anything feasible, so I hired a career coach. She was good. She spent months convincing me gradually (kicking and screaming!) that writing was the only thing I ever really wanted to do.

So, where to begin. At first, I thought it was all about proving myself. I started pitching freelance stories to just about anyone, and realizing this was going to take a while. Especially at a time when so many magazines were going out of business.

Then one lucky day I ran into a well-known blogger who convinced me that a blog was worth a shot. That was the day in 2007 when I became the Midlife Crisis Queen. I had to crown myself the QUEEN. Certainly nobody else cared.

These days, blogging is the only way to establish yourself as a writer, unless you have some fantastic connections. I had none, but I found I did slowly gather a following by telling it like it is for those lost in midlife ennui.

Within a year I felt confident enough to write my first book, and five years later, I have three books published and two e-workbooks, all about surviving what turns out to be a unique, new and psychologically genuine rite of passage called 'midlife.'

I know now exactly how normal my own midlife passage has been. What could be more common than the desire to have something to show for your life? How many baby boomers are struggling right now with this issue and coming up short?

Becoming a writer was my own personal solution. This process has given me new purpose. Everyday I wake up ready to see what's next, to learn more about this new adventure called midlife. Life is exciting in a way I could not have imagined in my 30's and 40's.

So, please allow me to share a little bit of midlife wisdom here:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky